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Smith Notation


Smith notation (invented by Warren Smith) is a straight-forward chess notation to represent any move without ambiguity. Unlike standard algebraic notation, no complex analysis is necessary to be certain of what piece is moving and where. Smith notation is also designed to be reversible, so it is as easy to go backwards in a game as forwards. For these reasons, Smith notation is ideal for computer applications.


   <from square><to square>[<capture indicator>][<promoted to>]
      2 chars     2 chars       0 or 1 char       0 or 1 char

The capture indicator is one of pnbrqkEcC. It indicates the type of piece captured. "c" indicates a short castling move (in which case the coordinates are for the king's movements), and C indicates a long castling move. An "E" indicates an enpassant capture. If it's not a capture, or castling move, the field is empty.

The promotion information is one of "NBRQ", indicating the promoted piece.


          e4g5p   is a N move from e4 to g5 
                  capturing a pawn.
          f7f8Q   is a queening move
          f7g8nQ  is a pawn move capturing a knight 
                  and promoting to a queen.

Chessviewer accepts one other style of move notation. In order to support Bughouse games (or other situations where you want to plunk a piece), you can use piece@square. For example, P@f7 places a white pawn at f7. Likewise, q@c1 places black queen at c1. Note that the piece is case-sensitive.